Brain Development. EDU 221 Spring 2014. Understanding Brain Development . Parents, teachers, and others who closely observe children have long recognized the importance of the early years.
These connections are formed when impulses are sent and received between neurons. Axons send messages and dendrites receive them. These connections form synapses.Brain Development
Neurons mature when axons send messages and dendrites receive them to form synapses
Beginning at about age 11, a child's brain gets rid of extra connections in a process calling "pruning," gradually making order out of a thick tangle of "wires."
The remaining "wiring" is more powerful and efficient. The increase in synaptic density in a child's brain can be seen in Figure 2
The interactions that parents assist with in a child's environment are what spur the growth and pattern of these connections in the brain.
As the synapses in a child's brain are strengthened through repeated experiences, connections and pathways are formed that structure the way a child learns. If a pathway is not used, it's eliminated based on the "use it or lose it" principle. Things you do a single time, either good or bad, are somewhat less likely to have an effect on brain development.
When a connection is used repeatedly in the early years, it becomes permanent. For example, when adults repeat words and phrases as they talk to babies, babies learn to understand speech and strengthen the language connections in the brain.
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